Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Mushroom Marsala Fettuccini

Lately I have been back on the Rachael Ray meal train.  It may have something to do with a sick day, a DVR, and a need to "clean up" the hundreds of hours of recorded shows that I never have time to watch.  So, my friend Rach gave me some yummy new ideas to shake up the family mealtime rut, so stay tuned for a few more RR meals in the future.

For Valentine's Day, we experimented with cooking a mushroom Marsala steak sauce with lovely results so it's my current new obsession.  So of course when I saw her make Double Mushroom and Marsala Creme Fettuccini, I knew that would be hitting my table soon!  Of course, I had to change a few things, I don't know where Rach shops but in my grocery store dried Porcini mushrooms are about $8 an ounce!  If you feel so inclined, check out the original recipe, I'm sure it is completely fabulous, but mine was pretty dang good too.  Here we go:

1 8oz package each, whole button and cremini mushrooms, wiped clean and sliced.
1/4 red onion, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, minced
2T extra virgin olive oil and 1T butter
Handful of fresh thyme
Black pepper
1/2 C dry Marsala wine (sort of like port and quite tasty, it's helpful to have a small glass for the chef while cooking!)
1 C (approximately) beef broth
1/2 C half and half or heavy cream (I used half and half)
1lb fettuccini (original recipe calls for whole wheat but I had the regular so I just used that)

Heat a non-stick pan to medium heat with butter and olive oil.  Add mushrooms, onions, and garlic.  Saute veggies for several minutes until mushrooms are well browned.  Douse mushrooms with Marsala and cook for a few more minutes or until about halfway reduced.  Add beef broth and cook reduce again.  Add half and half, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer gently while pasta cooks.

While pasta cooks and sauce simmers, make the panko topping.  As a side note, panko is my new favorite thing!  It is light and crispy and lovely and magical.  Okay, maybe not magical, but it can make a fish sooo yummy that it happily fed three generations of my family, so that's pretty magical to me.  Stay tuned for magical fish recipe...  Annnyyyway, back to panko topping for pasta:

2 T butter
1 clove garlic, finely minced or pasted
1 C panko
1/2 Parmiggiano Reggiano
Handful flat-leaf parsley, chopped

Heat butter in a small saute pan until bubbly, add garlic and panko, stir around and cook on low until panko gets toasty and golden brown.  Turn off head and stir in cheese and parsley.  This is a heavenly crunchy little "garlic bread" tasting topping for your noodles.

When pasta is just slightly under-cooked, drain and stir gently into the mushroom sauce.  Stir for a minute or two to combine well and thicken the sauce.  Sprinkle toasty topping on individual plates and enjoy!  In order to offset the butter/cream sauce, I made a simple spinach and tomato salad to go with this.  That negates the fat you know!  It should be noted, this is not the best "money shot" of the meal, but I couldn't resist the toddler slurping up his noodles in the background.  There you go, kid approved!

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